Meet Lana! RASKC is deeply honored to recognize Lana Bulanova as an Outstanding New Volunteer. She has vastly improved the quality of life for RASKC bunnies and other rabbits in the region in so many ways.
- Lana comes in twice a week, sometimes with her daughter, to lead enrichment activities for our rabbits and has developed an effective proposal for RASKC to soon launch a rabbit-enrichment volunteer team that she will lead.
- Through her amazing networking skills, Lana has facilitated a great many rabbit adoptions, foster placements, and intakes. She provides extra support to RASKC’s rabbit foster volunteers and adopters.
- Lana took the initiative to create an Amazon wish list specifically to help RASKC’s rabbits, which has resulted in a startling number of generous donations.
- Lana donated and set up a music system in RASKC’s rabbit room.
- Soon she will maintain RASKC’s new Petfinder account that will focus on adoptable rabbits and rodents.
Additionally, Lana helps with RASKC’s animal-transport needs.
“I walked into a local pet store one day to get fish food for my daughter’s fish when I locked eyes with my first rabbit. I knew nothing about rabbits, but I knew in that moment that I was meant to be her mom. Like many first time rabbit parents, I knew nothing about how to care for a rabbit, and I was ill advised by the pet store. So as I kept learning and learning, a passion sparked in me that I hadn’t known was there.
“The more I learned about these commonly misunderstood animals, the more I wanted to advocate for their care. Rabbits are the third most commonly abandoned animals. Many folks still believe that a rabbit belongs in a hutch, isolated in the backyard when this is couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people along my journey who have taught me so much. They are the reason I began volunteering in rabbit rescues, rescuing domestic rabbits dumped in the wild, and eventually led me to volunteering with the rabbits at RASKC.
“Currently, my family is myself and my 12-year-old daughter Veyana and our four bunnies! Lola, Leroy, Leo, and Herbie!
- Lola, my first rabbit, is a tiny, sassy, floof who runs the show. She is part dwarf, part Jersey Wooley, and is 20 pounds of attitude packed in a two-pound package.
- Her “hus-bun” is Leroy, a big docile minilop who puts up with his wife’s sass. He wins the hearts of all he meets.
- Leo was a rescue I caught in West Seattle. I’d hoped by chance he was someone’s pet that had escaped, but we searched and searched and to no avail. He helped fill a hole in my heart after my last rescue bun, Luther, had passed.
- Luther was a dog bun. You couldn’t convince him otherwise. He would run up to the door to greet you, run up to the fridge when you prepare his food, and beg for treats with the best of them. When I first rescued him he was absolutely terrified of humans. It took almost a full week before he would let us enter the room he was in without freaking out and running to hide. Slowly he realized we were there to love him, and he became the sweetest dog bun that ever was.
- Our most recent addition was Herbie. I adopted him from RASKC last October. He came in with such long, overgrown nails, and he sat patiently in my lap as I cut them. Herbie quickly stole a huge piece of my heart, being the snuggliest bunny that ever bunnied.
“I have volunteered in many a role throughout my personal and professional life. I’d actually only recently mastered how to politely decline offers to organize charity events, sit on boards, and raise funds. I was a member of the Federal Way Rotary Club where my favorite project I was involved in was creating a library for children in Guyana. Beyond that, I’ve volunteered with the American Cancer Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Communities in Schools, and the list goes on. But it wasn’t until I started volunteering with bunnies that I really felt the passion you should feel when you donate your time to a cause. I can’t get enough. I want to help however I can. I’ve since volunteered with Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and worked with a lot of our local rabbit rescues – Bunanza Rabbit Rescue, Lucky Bunny Rescue, Special Bunny, and Hare BnB rescue to name a few.
“I grew up an only child of a single mom in Bellevue, Washington. I was a lonely kid, so I read a ton of books. I would go to the library each weekend and check out a whole bag of books and spent all my spare time with my nose in a book. Some of my favorite memories are from my travels to Italy, Switzerland, and Costa Rica.
“I absolutely love volunteering at RASKC, because it provides me the opportunity to help give these amazing animals second chances. Being able to find loving homes for bunnies that have been previously neglected, or dumped, makes my heart so full. Having the opportunity to work with and educate adopters on proper bunny care is absolutely wonderful, because it means these sweet buns will finally get the love they deserve. I still receive regular updates, questions, pictures from many of our adopters. I love being a part of their journey every step of the way.
“One of my most memorable situations volunteering at RASKC is when I brought in eight bunnies dumped at a local park. They filled up our kennels in the rabbit room, and I knew we had to get them in the hands of loving adopters quickly. They all had such sweet, loving personalities, despite what they’d been through. Each day spent with them was so heartwarming, watching them binky around during playtime, and they eagerly welcome head rubs. The day I adopted out our last two of that bunch was such a rewarding day. Knowing these sweet bunnies were going to be loved, spoiled house rabbits for the rest of their days was such an incredible feeling.
“In my professional life outside of the shelter, I work in the world of hospitality. I have been in the hotel business since graduating from Central Washington University in 2007. I am the Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for Trimark Hospitality and oversee sales at seven hotels in Washington, Oregon, and Arizona. I love what I do, and I work with a wonderful team. The hotel business really took a beating during the pandemic. Being able to adapt and figure out a new normal has been very eye-opening. My team and my hotels have remained resilient. As we find our way back to a new normal, it is promising to look forward to what the future holds.
“I would really just like to say thank you to RASKC for giving me the opportunity to do what I love and to help so many bunnies have the lives they deserve. It has been an absolute pleasure working with our amazing vet techs, vet team, shelter administrators, animal control, foster manager, volunteer manager, agency manager – everyone has been so wonderful. Thank you all for allowing me to be a part of the team.
“We will be looking for volunteers to join our rabbit enrichment team. Please enquire with Sarah.Luthens@kingcounty.gov if interested. We also are desperately welcoming donations of toys and treats for our shelter bunnies. Please find our Amazon wish list here.”
Editor’s note: RASKC is also seeking a volunteer for Early Morning Rabbit Crew on Mondays with a flexible start time between 8-9:30am for a weekly shift that lasts at least 90 minutes or possibly up to three hours. Contact Sarah.Luthens@kingcounty.gov